Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has received USD 100,000 from Pilgrim Africa to support rangers in Bwindi Mgahinga Conservation Area for a period of 10 months.
The funds will be used to support the rangers’ allowances and operational activities of the conservation area in order to carry out routine patrols as well as monitor the health of the gorillas.
The money was handed over to the UWA Executive Director Sam Mwandha by the Board Chairman Pilgrim Africa Dr. Ben Khingi and Patron Lt. Gen Charles Angina at UWA Head Office.
While receiving the cheque, UWA ED Sam Mwandha thanked Pilgrim Africa for donating the money for the good of conservation of wildlife. He said that UWA is now witnessing a reduction of poaching activities.
Bwindi Mgahinga is a key conservation area because it generates more than half the total revenue Uganda Wildlife Authority gets from all national parks.
Dr. Khingi observed that national parks were a great economic asset to the country and that it is critical to protect them for the generations to come.
“We are aware the halt to tourism income caused by COVID 19 has pushed many people who depend on tourism into poaching the very animals the industry depends on. Statistics indicate that cases of poaching in February and May did more than doubled this year compared to the previous year of 2019,” he observed.
“When we learnt that UWA is ensuring rangers spend more time with gorillas to lessen the chance that they could wander off and be poached, Pilgrim Africa was greatly motivated to get involved,” Dr. Khingi said.
Lt. Gen Charles Angina thanked UWA for the management of national parks. He acknowledged the serious damage COVID 19 has had on Uganda’s tourism and noted the challenges that conservation grapples with given the reduction in resources for operational activities.
He retaliated that Pilgrim Africa seeks to make a difference through assisting wildlife management because wildlife is the oxygen that drives tourism and could not be ignored.
“This industry that comes with wildlife has great potential and therefore needs to be supported.” he noted.
He said that Operation Wealth Creation is now partnering with tourism to work with communities to upgrade livelihoods of the rural communities.
Such initiatives including having families have clean water, clean toilets and benefit more from wildlife protection.